Trials on Trails
Oromocto, New Brunswick
We imagined these sacred water routes in India, like the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers, to be before us. On this one trail (an old railway bed) I with four other monks, traversed or bypassed them. In reality we were in Canada. The trail between Gagetown and Oromocto was literally 'the pits.' To transcendentalize the situation we mentally invited not only the aforementioned holy rivers but also Radha Kund and Shyama Kund, two most sacred bathing ponds in Vrindavan, Krishna's place as a child.
Taking the lead, I announced as we approached a new water hurdle, the name of the holy duplicate. It made light of a somewhat challenging circumstance on our obstruction course. As the trail opened up with less dew-destined branches of healthy trees to contend with and the ground beneath us became tame, we plodded along quickly. Three out of the four brahmacaris left the trail for Fredricton, the province's capital, to distribute the books of our guru on the main street.
With the path (the NB Trail) having become very clear I pondered on the huge sacrifice undertaken sometime in the 19th century by unsung heroes who laboriously made the trail, for at first the iron horse, and which we now enjoy as a walking thoroughfare of natural beauty. Likely the labourers received meagre salaries for their sweat and pain in these wetlands and dense trees. It left me a little choked-up inside, just reflecting on the achievement. On the other hand, those who built the original trail likely felt a strong sense of accomplishment. I wonder if the average man and woman feels the same sense of accomplishment in a world of devices and where we are rather pampered.
Off the beaten path and into Daruka's 97 Mercury we left for a satsang gathering with the Bhutanese community. From there we proceeded to Saint John's downtown library for a presentation on the Bhagavad-gita and finally a visit to the parents of our ashram co-ordinator in Nova Scotia, Nitai Ram, completed the day. His parents are indeed supportive of his chosen life as a monk. This is not always the case.
I must complete my report by delivering the Gita verse of today (5.10): "One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water."